THE HISTORY OF THE REFORMATION

 

PHILIP II AND MARY

By  

James Bass Mullinger

 

THE contention of religious parties amid which the reign of Mary commenced - the legacy of the preceding reign - still further weakened the royal authority at home, while it materially lowered England in the estimation of the great Powers abroad. The Protector Somerset had failed to accomplish the design to which he had devoted his best energies, that of Union with Scotland, whereby the United Kingdom should assert its position as the leading Protestant State in Europe. The innate cruelty of Northumberland's nature, as seen in the merciless malignity with which he brought his rival to the scaffold, and carried out the reversal of his policy, had caused him to be regarded with aversion by the great majority of his countrymen; while the humiliating circumstances under which peace had been concluded both with France and with Scotland had revealed alike the financial and the moral weakness of the nation. Not only had the rulers of the country themselves ceased to be actuated by a statesmanlike and definite foreign policy, but the leading Powers on the Continent had gradually come to regard England from a different point of view. The revenue of the English Crown was but a fraction of that which Henry II of France or Charles V could raise. And by degrees the country whose King, a generation before, had hurled defiance at Rome and treated on equal terms with Spain and France, had come to be looked upon by these latter Powers as one whose government and people were alike fickle and untrustworthy, and whose policy vacillated and rulers changed so often as to render its alliance a matter scarcely deserving serious diplomatic effort, its annexation far from impracticable. But whether that annexation would have to be effected by diplomacy or by force, by a matrimonial alliance or by actual conquest, was still uncertain. Such, however, was the alternative that chiefly engaged the thoughts of the representatives of the great continental Powers during the reign of Mary.

When we turn to consider the instruments who served their diplomacy in England, it must be admitted that the envoys of both French and Spain were well fitted to represent their respective sovereigns. The bad faith and cynical inconsistency of Henry II reappeared in the mischievous intrigues and shameless mendacity of Antoine de Noailles. The astute and wary policy of the Emperor was not inadequately reproduced by the energetic and adroit, although sometimes too impetuous, Simon Renard. On the Venetian envoys, Giacomo Soranzo and Giovanni Michiel, it devolved carefully to observe rather than to seek to guide events; and the latter, although designated an imperialist by de Noailles, appears to have preserved a studiously impartial attitude; while the accuracy of his information was such that the French ambassador did not scruple to avail himself of the dishonesty of Michiel’s secretary, Antonio Mazza, to purchase clandestinely much of the intelligence transmitted to the Doge of Venice by his envoy.

In the selection of her representatives at the foregoing Courts, Mary, on the other hand, does not appear to have been unduly biassed by personal predilections. Thirlby, Bishop of Norwich, afterwards stood high in her favor; but when, in April, 1553, he was for the second time accredited ambassador to the Emperor, it was under the auspices of Northumberland. Expediency alone can have suggested that Nicholas Wotton and Peter Vannes, both of whom had taken an active part in the proceedings connected with the divorce of Catharine of Aragon, should be retained at their posts, the one in Paris, the other in Venice. Wotton’s loyalty to his new sovereign, his ability and courage, were alike unquestionable; and when, in 1555-7, Mary’s throne was threatened by the machinations of the English exiles, it was to his vigilance and dexterity that the English government was mainly indebted for its earliest information of the conspirators’ intentions. At Venice, Peter Vannes discharged his duties as ambassador with commendable discretion and assiduity, although, at one critical juncture, he did not escape the reproach of excessive caution. But as a native of Lucca, and one who had been collector of the papal taxes in England, who had filled the post of Latin secretary to Wolsey, King Henry and King Edward in succession, and who had been employed on more than one important diplomatic mission, he offered a combination of qualifications which it would have been difficult to match. Although he was nearly sixty years of age, his energies showed no decline; and Mary herself could suggest no one more fit to be her representative at the Venetian Court.

The 6th of July, the day of Edward’s death, had not passed away before the Council were apprised of the event; but it was decided that the fact should be kept strictly secret until the necessary measures had been taken for securing the succession of the Lady Jane Grey. In pursuance of this decision, Howard (the Lord Admiral), the Marquis of Westminster (the Lord Treasurer), and the Earl of Shrewsbury forthwith placed a strong garrison in the Tower; while the civic authorities were summoned to appear, through their representatives, before the Council at Greenwich. The Lord Mayor, together with “six aldermen, as many merchants of the staple and as many merchant adventurers”, accordingly repaired thither, when the late monarch’s decease was made known to them, and the letters patent, whereby he had devised the Succession to the House of Suffolk, were laid before them. These they were called upon to sign, and also to take an oath of allegiance to Queen Jane. They were, however, charged to divulge nothing, but quietly to take whatever measures they might deem requisite for the preservation of order in the City, and to procure the acquiescence of the citizens in the succession of their new sovereign; and, at three o'clock in the afternoon of Monday (the 10th), Jane was conveyed by water to the Tower, where she was formally received as Queen. At five o'clock, public proclamation was made both of Edward’s death and of the fact that by his decree “the Lady Jane and her heirs male” were to be his recognized successors. Printed copies of the document which the late King had executed were at the same time circulated among the people, in order to make clear the grounds on which the claim of the new Queen rested.

In the meantime, two days before her brother’s death, Mary, apprised of the hopeless nature of his illness, had effected her escape by night from Hunsdon to her palace at Kenninghall, an ancient structure, formerly belonging to the Dukes of Norfolk, which had been bestowed on her by Henry on the attainder of the actual Duke.

The Princess had formerly been accustomed to hold her Court there; but the buildings were ill adapted for defence, and on the 11th she quitted Kenninghall for Framlingham in Suffolk. Framlingham, another of the seats of the Howards, was situated in the district where Northumberland’s ruthless suppression of the rebellion of 1549 was still fresh in the memories of the population; and the strength and position of the castle, surmounted by lofty towers and on the margin of a wide expanse of water, made it an excellent rallying-point for Mary’s supporters. Moreover, being distant but a few miles from the coast, it offered facilities for escape to the Continent, should such a necessity arise.

Within less than forty-eight hours it had become known to Northumberland in London, that the Earl of Bath, Sir Thomas Wharton, Sir John Mordaunt, Sir William Drury, Sir Henry Bedingfield (formerly the custodian of Mary’s mother at Kimbolton), along with other noblemen and gentlemen, some of them at the head of a considerable body of retainers, were gathering at Framlingham. The Council, on assembling at the Tower on the 12th, had already decided that it was expedient for the security of the realm, that Mary should forthwith be brought to London; and Suffolk was, in the first instance, designated for the task of giving effect to their decision. Jane, however, overcome by a sense of responsibility and by nervous apprehension, entreated that her father might be permitted “to tarry at home to keep her company”; and Northumberland was accordingly called upon to proceed on the perilous errand.

The terror which his name was likely to inspire, and his reputation as “the best man of war in the realm”, might be looked upon as justifying his selection. But on the other hand it was also notorious that throughout the eastern counties his name was held in execration as that of the man who had brought Somerset to the scaffold; and the rumor was already spreading widely that he had, by foul play, precipitated the death of the young King. The wishes of the Council were, however, too strongly urged for him to be able to decline the errand; and the following day was devoted to making ready for the expedition and to the arming of a sufficient retinue. When the Lords of the Council assembled at dinner, Northumberland availed himself of the opportunity to deliver an harangue in which he adverted to the perils awaiting him and his followers, and commended the families of the latter to the care of his audience. He further reminded those who listened, that to “the original ground” on which their policy rested - “the preferment of God’s Word and the fear of popestry’s re-entrance” - there was now added the new oath of allegiance, which bound them to support the Queen's cause, and he adjured them to be faithful to their vow.

Northumberland marches against Mary.

On Friday, July 14, he set out with his forces through the streets of London; but the absence of all sympathy on the part of the populace either with him or his errand was only too apparent. He himself, as he passed along Shoreditch, was heard to exclaim : “the people press to see us, but not one sayeth 'God speed ye!”.

Under the belief that Mary’s change of residence to Framlingham was simply designed to facilitate her escape to Flanders, he had some days before given orders that ships carrying picked crews to the number of two thousand men should be stationed off the Norfolk coast to intercept her passage. The spirits of Mary’s supporters at this crisis were far from high; nor was Charles at Brussels by any means sanguine in his niece’s cause. His instructions, transmitted on June 23 to his ambassadors extraordinary to the English Court while they were still at Calais, were drawn up in contemplation of the crisis which seemed likely to arise on Edward’s death, which was even then regarded as imminent.

On their arrival in London they were forthwith to obtain, if possible, an interview with the young King; and precise directions were given with respect to their attitude towards Northumberland and the Council. In the event of Edward’s death, Mary’s best policy, Charles considered, would be her betrothal to one of her own countrymen; the machinations of France would thus be effectually counteracted, the mistrust of Northumberland and his party would be disarmed. It would be well also to come as soon as might be to a general understanding with the Council; a result which, the imperial adviser considered, might be attained by Mary's undertaking to introduce no innovations either in the administration of civil affairs or in religion, and at the same time concluding a kind of amnesty with those actually in office, “patiently waiting until God should vouchsafe the opportunity of restoring everything by peaceful means”. His envoys were also enjoined to give his niece all possible assistance and advice in connection with any obligations she might enter into with the Council and any pledges she might give.

Edward’s death, followed within a week by that of Maurice of Saxony from a wound received in the battle of Sievershausen, materially modified the aspect of affairs. On the Continent, Charles was now able to concentrate his efforts on the conflict with France; while in England the remarkable change in Mary’s prospects constrained both Catholic and Protestant writers to recognize in results so rapidly attained an express intervention of Providence.

 

Proclamation of Queen Mary.

 

The first report transmitted to Charles by his ambassadors after their arrival in London conveyed the tidings of Edward's death, and of Northumberland's occupation of the Tower as champion of the cause of the Lady Jane Grey. It further stated that Mary, after taking counsel with her confidants, had been proclaimed Queen at Framlingham, a course adopted under the belief that large numbers would thus be encouraged openly to declare themselves in her favor.

In the opinion of Renard himself, however, she was committing herself to a line of action which, considering the resources at Northumberland’s command, the support which he was regularly receiving from France, and the actual complications in continental affairs, must be pronounced hopeless. Charles in his reply (July 11, 1553) advised his envoys to content themselves for the present with watching the situation; but he suggested that, if Northumberland persisted in his opposition to Mary’s claims, it might be well to endeavor to persuade those English peers who favored the Catholic cause to make such a demonstration as might serve to render the Duke more amenable to reason. Renard’s misgivings were, however, soon modified by further and more accurate intelligence; and in a letter to Prince Philip he was able to report that Paget had resumed his seat in the Council, in whose policy a complete change had taken place.

Then came news that on July 19, while the rebel leaders were marching from Cambridge to attack the castle at Framlingham, Mary had been proclaimed on Tower Hill by Suffolk himself, and again at Paul’s Cross, and that he had at the same time given orders that the insignia of royalty should be removed from his daughter's chambers. The diarist at his post in the Tower and the imperial ambassadors in the City concur in describing the demonstrations which followed as characterized by remarkable enthusiasm, - the bonfires and roaring cannon, the pealing bells and sonorous long-disused organs, the profuse largesses -, all offering a marked contrast to the apathy and silence with which the proclamation of Jane had been received. The Council now sent off official information of the event to Mary, who was at the same time advised not to disarm her forces until Northumberland’s submission or defeat was beyond doubt. Three days later Renard was able to report that the proclamation had everywhere been so favorably received that Mary might now be regarded as secure in her position “as true and hereditary Queen of England, without difficulty, doubt, or impediment”.

While events were progressing thus rapidly in London Northumberland, accompanied by the Marquis of Northampton and Lord Grey, had arrived on the evening of Saturday, July 15, at Cambridge. Here he rested for the Sunday, and as both Lord High Steward and Chancellor of the University was hospitably entertained by the academic authorities. On the Monday he set out for Bury St Edmunds, expecting to be joined at Newmarket by the reinforcements from the capital. These however failed to appear, while defections from his own ranks became numerous; and he now learned that the crews of the ships sent to intercept Mary’s passage, had, on arriving at Yarmouth, declared for her, and their captains had followed their example. On the 18th, accordingly, Northumberland set out on his return from Bury to Cambridge, where at five o'clock on the evening of the 20th, the news having arrived that Mary had been proclaimed in London, he himself also proclaimed her in the market-place; and, as the tears ran down his face, ejaculated that he knew her to be a merciful woman. An hour later he received an order from the Council. It was signed by Cranmer, Goodrich (Bishop of Ely and Lord Chancellor), the Marquis of Winchester, the Duke of Suffolk, and the Earls of Pembroke, Bedford, and Shrewsbury, and directed him forthwith to disarm and disband his army, but not himself to return to London until the royal pleasure was known. If he would thus “show himself like a good quiet subject”, the missive went on to say, “we will then continue as we have begun, as humble suters to our Sovereign Lady the Queen Highnesses, for him and his and for ourselves”.

The Cambridge authorities now hastened to send congratulatory letters to Framlingham; while Gardiner, the former Chancellor of the University, was re-elected to that office. In the letter announcing his re-election he was urged to restore to the Schools their former freedom and “to annul the lawless laws which held their consciences in bondage”. The Constable de Montmorency, writing (July 24) to Lord Howard, the governor of Calais, promised that he would himself conduct all the forces at his disposal to protect that town, should the Emperor, taking advantage of the crisis, seek to occupy it. But five days later Noailles was able to report to the Duke of Orleans that troops, cavalry and foot-soldiers, had rallied to Mary's support to the number of between 35,000 and 40,000 men-all inspired with unprecedented enthusiasm and asking for no pay, but voluntarily contributing money, plate, and rings from their own slender resources. At Framlingham there were now to be seen, besides Mary's avowed supporters, numerous nobles and gentlemen, confessing their disloyalty and asking for pardon. In most cases these petitions received a favorable response. Cecil, who could plead that he had signed the Instrument of Succession under compulsion, was restored to favor although not to office. But the Dudleys, both Robert and Ambrose, and about a hundred other leading commoners, among whom was Sir Thomas Wyatt, remained for a time under arrest. On July 27 the two Lord Chief Justices, Sir Roger Cholmeley and Sir Edward Montagu, were committed to the Tower, where, on the following day, they were joined by the Duke of Suffolk and Sir John Cheke, and, before the end of the month, by Northumberland and his Duchess, with their eldest son (the Earl of Warwick), Guilford Dudley, and the Lady Jane.

On July 29 Henry at Compiègne signed the credentials of the Sieur Antoine de Noailles as ambassador to Mary; and two days later it was intimated to Nicholas Wotton, Pickering, and Chaloner that the Queen desired to retain them in their posts as her representatives at the French Court. Early in August, Cardinal Pole, in his monastic retirement at Maguzzano on the Lago di Garda, received from Julius III his appointment as papal Legate to England, with instructions to visit both the Imperial and the French Court on his journey thither.

For the present Mary determined to be guided mainly by the advice of her cousin the Emperor, a decision the wisdom of which was clearly attested by subsequent events as well as by the letters, numerous and lengthy, which Charles addressed to his envoys at her Court in connection with each important question as it arose. From the first he advised that the Queen should scrupulously avoid appearing to set herself in opposition to the prejudices and feelings of her people, and should above all things endeavor to appear “une bonne Anglaise”. It was from France alone, he considered, that she had reason to apprehend much danger; although Scotland, as subservient to French policy, also required to be carefully watched. The French envoys had just presented their credentials to Courtenay, and, as a well-known sympathizer with the Italian Reformers, he was regarded by the Emperor with especial mistrust. It was rumored that the young nobleman was making advances to Elizabeth. Such an alliance, Charles pointed out, was fraught with danger and must, if possible, be prevented. The Princess’ attitude in relation to the new doctrines also required to be carefully observed. As for the rebels, let exemplary punishment be inflicted on the leaders, and the rest be treated with clemency. The Lady Jane doubtless deserved death, but it might be well for the present simply to keep her in close custody, where she would be unable to hold communication with traitors. Finally, Mary was advised to get the finances in good order, so as to have funds ready for any emergency, and, more especially, to exercise a vigilant control over the expenditure of the secret service money.

Counsel of a very different nature came from Italy, where Cardinal Pole’s fervid enthusiasm as a would-be reformer of religious discipline in England was prudently held in check alike by Emperor and Pope. His letters at this period, while conceived in a spirit of unselfish devotion to the interests of Catholicism, attest the unpractical character of the writer and the influences of the monastic seclusion in which he had lately sought refuge. Early in August, Gian Francesco Commendone, the papal chamberlain, and Penning, one of Pole’s confidants, were sent expressly, the one from Brussels, the other from Rome, in order more accurately to gauge both the royal intentions and popular feeling. It was only after considerable delay that they succeeded in gaining admission to Mary’s presence, when her own language held out so little hope of her being able at once to adopt a decisive policy that Commendone forthwith set out on his return journey. Penning, however, remained until the Coronation, and was then sent back to Pole with a letter from the Queen. In a letter to the Queen, dated August 13, the Cardinal had already enunciated his views of Mary’s position and responsibilities. Heresy was the source of all evil; unbridled passion had led her father first to divorce himself from his wedded wife, and next to separate from his mother the Church and to disobey her spiritual Head. Mary had already reaped a reward for her loyalty to the true faith in her astonishing triumph over her rebel subjects. If ever the interposition of Divine Providence in human affairs had been clearly apparent, it was in the recent crisis in England. He hopes that the character of her rule will make manifest her consciousness of this fact, and he is especially anxious to be informed as to her real sentiments. When once admitted to her presence, he relies on being able to convince her that her crown and the welfare of the nation alike depend on obedience to the Church. In her reply, Mary expressed her heartfelt grief at being, as yet, unable to disclose her secret wishes, but intimated that, as soon as it was in her power, she hoped to carry them into effective execution. Pole, however, could see no advantage in delay, holding that it was especially desirable that he should himself be near at hand “to assist the Queen’s good intentions”; demurring at the same time to the proposal that the Pope should forthwith “exempt England from every interdict and censure”, on the ground that so momentous a decision would more fitly be considered by himself on his arrival.

All that Julius III and the Emperor could do was to contrive that a counselor of so much distinction and of so small discretion should be kept back as long as possible from the arena where his influence was likely to prove most disastrous. By the Pontiff, Pole was designated legatus pro pace and instructed to visit on his journey to England both the Imperial and the French Court, with the view of bringing about, if possible, an understanding between Charles and Henry. By the Emperor, the audience which the Cardinal asked for at Brussels was deferred, under various pretexts, until January, 1554. As early however as October 2, Pole had arrived at Trent, where we find him writing to Courtenay and extolling the negative virtues which had adorned his captivity in the Tower, little surmising on what a career his cousin had already embarked, to the ruin alike of his health and his fortunes.

 

Position of Elizabeth.

 

During these critical days Elizabeth had remained in seclusion at Hatfield, preserving an attitude of studied neutrality. But on July 29 she entered London with a large train of followers and took up her residence at Somerset House. Five days later, the Queen made her triumphal entry into the City in the evening, and was joined at Aldgate by her sister, the two riding side by side through the streets amid the acclamations of the populace. Mary, following the usual practice of royalty prior to coronation, now proceeded to occupy the State apartments in the Tower. At the Great Gate, the Duke of Norfolk, Bishop Gardiner, the Duchess of Somerset, and the youthful Courtenay awaited her arrival, all in a kneeling posture, and were by her command formally restored to liberty. Jane, on the other hand, found herself a prisoner, and was consigned to the custody of the new governor, Sir John Brydges.

Gardiner was sworn a member of the Privy Council, and, on August 23, appointed Lord High Chancellor. On the 8th of the same month the funeral service for the late King was held in Westminster Abbey, being conducted by Cranmer and according to the Protestant ritual. Mary, however, commanded that a requiem mass should also be celebrated in the Tower, which she strongly pressed Elizabeth to attend. The Princess did not comply; but by her regular attendance at Court gave evidence of her desire to conciliate her sister as far as possible, and six weeks later was to be seen hearing mass in her company. Her compliance, however, as Noailles himself admits, was generally regarded as dictated by fear rather than principle.

It soon however became evident that the recognition of the Legate and the contemplated resumption of relations with the Roman See were measures which would be attended with far greater difficulties than the restoration of the ancient worship. Even Gardiner, whose general sympathy with such designs there can be no reason for doubting, felt himself bound, like the Emperor, to counsel the greatest caution and deliberation.

The nobles and country gentry, enriched by those monastic and Church lands which they would be called upon to restore, the Bishops whose deposition was regarded as imminent, alike represented vested interests which could hardly be assailed without danger. In a proclamation issued August 18, Mary announced, accordingly, her intention of deferring various questions of policy until Parliament, summoned to assemble on October 5, could be consulted. But in the meantime certain measures which did not appear to admit of being thus postponed were carried into effect.

Of some sixty rebels denounced as traitors seven were convicted of high treason; but of these three only Northumberland, Sir John Gates, and Sir Thomas Palmer actually suffered the extreme penalty. Gardiner himself is said to have interceded on behalf of the Duke, who, buoyed up by the hope that the royal clemency would be extended to him on the scaffold itself, there acknowledged the justice of his sentence and made a complete renunciation of Protestantism, even going so far as to attribute the intestine strife and the miseries, which for so many years had troubled alike England and Germany, to the defection of those realms from the true faith. The Roman ritual was not as yet formally restored as obligatory on all loyal subjects, but in her private chapel Mary heard mass.

The Protestant Bishops were deposed; and an injunction was issued that none of the clergy should preach without the royal licence, while any member of that body was to be liable to suspension if his conduct proved unsatisfactory. Gardiner, Bonner, Heath, and Day were reinstated in their respective sees of Winchester, London, Worcester, and Chichester. The see of Durham, which Northumberland had suppressed, appropriating its ample revenues to his own use, was restored, and Cuthbert Tunstall installed as Bishop. On August 29 Gardiner received instructions himself to select and appoint capable preachers who were to be sent to discharge their functions throughout the country.

Not a few of the more eminent preachers among the Reformers, foreseeing the storm, had already fled to the Continent; but a certain number still remained, such as Latimer and John Bradford, openly to call in question the prerogatives which the Queen still arrogated to herself as Head of the Church. Foremost, however, among those who refused to flee was Archbishop Cranmer, who at his palace in Lambeth confronted the reactionary tendencies around him with an intrepidity which marked him out for general observation. Already obnoxious, owing to his complicity in the diversion of the Succession to the Crown, he was by his open denunciation of the restoration of the Mass, which he declared to involve “many horrible blasphemies”, exposed to the charge of open resistance to the royal authority. On September 8 he was summoned before the Council to answer for the publication of the Declaration in which he had given expression to his views. His defence, if such it could be termed, was rightly regarded as evasive.

He pleaded that Scory, the deprived Bishop of Chichester, had published the Declaration without his formal authorization, though he admitted that it had been his intention to give it. He was accordingly committed to the Tower, where Ridley, who had publicly proclaimed the illegitimacy of both Mary and Elizabeth, had already been a prisoner for two months. Latimer's committal appears to have taken place about the same time; and, early in October, Cranmer was followed by his brother Primate, Archbishop Holgate. The latter was now more than seventy years of age, and chiefly obnoxious on account of the persistent energy with which he assailed all that reflected the Roman ritual and ornamentation in the churches.

On October 1 Mary was crowned in Westminster Abbey-the procession from the Tower and the entire ceremonial being marked by much splendor and by a revival of all the features and details which belonged to such ceremonies in medieval times. The whole Court also now resumed the brilliant attire and costly adornments of the reign of Henry VIII. On the 5th of the month Mary's first Parliament assembled. The Council, out of deference to the royal wishes, had contemplated measures which would have reversed all the anti-papal enactments of both the preceding reigns. But here the Commons assumed a decisive attitude : and it was eventually determined that the question of restoring the lands and other property, which had been wrested from the Church and the suppressed monasteries, should not be considered, and that, with respect to the supremacy in matters of religion, legislation should go back no further than to the commencement of Edward's reign. Whatever appeared to favor papal authority was, as Mary in a letter to Pole herself admitted, regarded with suspicion. On the other hand, much was done to propitiate the new sovereign. A bill was at once brought in legalizing the marriage of Catharine of Aragon and abolishing all disabilities attaching to the profession of the old faith. The opposition of the Protestant party in the House caused a certain delay; but after an interval of three days the ministers brought in two bills the one affirming the legality of Catharine’s marriage without adverting to the papal decision; the other rescinding the legislation affecting religious worship and the Church during the reign of the late King. The retrospective force of the latter bill went, however, no further, the ecclesiastical supremacy of the Crown being still tacitly admitted. But, on the other hand, it involved the renunciation of the chief results of Cranmer's efforts during the preceding reign - the Reformed Liturgy, the First and Second Books of Common Prayer, the administration of the Sacrament in both kinds, and the recognition of a married clergy - and was consequently not allowed to pass without considerable opposition. But its opponents, although representing nearly a third of the Lower House, did not deem it prudent to press the question to a division, and in the Upper House no resistance was offered.

It was manifest that conclusions so incompatible - the recognition of Mary as Head of the Church in England and the tacit assumption of the Papal Supremacy - represented a temporizing policy which was not likely to secure the permanent support of either party. Cardinal Pole declared himself profoundly dissatisfied : the Divine favor had recently been conspicuously shown in that outburst of loyal feeling which had secured Mary’s succession, and sovereign and people alike were bound by gratitude forthwith to seek reconciliation with the Holy See and to afford its Legate an honorable reception. The Emperor and Gardiner, on the other hand, still counseled caution, and more especially patience in awaiting the results of a gradual re-establishment of that Roman ritual which early association and religious sentiment endeared to the hearts of a majority of the population. In common with many of her subjects, the Queen herself firmly believed that nothing would more effectually contribute to the desired end than the prospect of a Catholic heir to the throne; and, although in her thirty-seventh year and in infirm health, she consequently regarded her own marriage as a duty to the State. But even if personal predilection was to be sacrificed on the altar of duty, her choice of a husband was a matter involving anxious consideration amid the conflicting claims of the national welfare and of the Catholic faith. In its broadest phase, the question lay between a native of her own country and a foreigner. The nation undoubtedly wished to see her married to one of her own nobles; it is equally certain that Mary's devout attachment to the interests of the Roman Church inclined her to look abroad. In the course of the year following upon her accession report singled out three supposed claimants for her hand, of whom one was sixteen years her senior, the other two each about ten years her junior.

There is no evidence that Reginald Pole ever aspired to marry Mary, or that she, in turn, ever regarded him in any other light than that of a much valued friend and counselor. The personal graces and touching experiences of Edward Courtenay might well recommend him to a woman’s sympathies. He was the son of Edward Courtenay, Marquis of Exeter, who had been executed in 1539 for his share in the conspiracy in favor of Reginald Pole, and was thus the great-grandson of Edward IV. Mary herself had just freed him from an imprisonment of nearly fifteen years and had created him Earl of Devonshire, while at her coronation he was selected to bear the sword before her. His mother, the Marchioness of Exeter, one of Mary’s dearest friends, was now one of her ladies in waiting. His long isolation from society and neglected education had however ill qualified him to play a part in politics, while the fascinations which surrounded him in his newly acquired freedom proved too potent for his self-control, and his wild debaucheries became the scandal of the capital. Whatever influence Pole might have been able to exert would probably have favored Courtenay’s claims. As a boy, both he and his brother Geoffrey had received much kindness from the Marquis of Exeter, the young Earl's father-favors which Geoffrey had ill repaid by bearing evidence which brought the Marquis to the scaffold-and Pole's own mother, the Countess of Salisbury, prior to her tragic execution, had shared the captivity of the Marchioness. But Courtenay’s indiscretions soon rendered the efforts of his best friends nugatory. It now became known that his conduct had completely lost him Mary’s favour, and he was next heard of as conspiring against his would-be benefactress.

To a fairly impartial observer it might well have seemed that the arguments for and against the Spanish marriage were of nearly equal force. Certain political advantages were obvious, and as Renard pointed out to the Queen herself it would afford the necessary counterbalance to the matrimonial alliance which already existed between France and Scotland; while the national antipathy to Spaniards, having its origin in commercial rivalry, could hardly be supposed to extend to a great prince like Philip. On the other hand, it would be necessary to obtain the papal dispensation; for Mary and Philip were within the degrees of consanguinity forbidden by the Canon Law. There also appeared to be considerable danger as regarded the Succession; for if Mary died without issue, as seemed highly probable, it was difficult to foresee what claims her husband might not advance. Such were the circumstances in which Gardiner, who had formed a regard for Courtenay when they were prisoners together, had, in the first instance, suggested that the Queen should marry the young English noble, and that Elizabeth should be excluded from the Succession; while Paget, who had just received back his Garter, thought it best that Mary’s choice should be left free, but that she should recognize Elizabeth as her presumptive successor. The great majority of the nobles and gentry, whether Catholic or Protestant, were divided and perplexed by the opposing considerations of the danger of a foreign yoke, the hope of seeing an hereditary faith restored, and the necessity which might yet ensue of being called upon to surrender those former possessions of the Church which constituted, in many cases, the present holder's chief wealth.

A selection which would draw closer the ties between England and Spain was naturally regarded with jealousy by the French monarch, and Noailles was instructed to use every effort to avert it. He accordingly plied his arguments and persuasions with untiring assiduity in every direction, and so far succeeded that the Commons were prevailed upon to vote an Address to the Crown, in which, while urging upon Mary the desirability of marriage, they also advised that her choice should be restricted to the peerage of her own realm. A week later Renard had an audience of the Queen, at which he made the offer from Charles himself of Philip's hand. Mary had previously made careful enquiry of the ambassador himself respecting the Prince's habits and natural disposition, and, after a short time had been allowed to elapse for apparent deliberation, intimated her acceptance of the offer.

Such were the circumstances in which, on November 17, the Commons presented the above-mentioned Address. The customary mode of procedure required that Gardiner, as Chancellor, should be the royal mouthpiece in reply. But Mary, rising from her throne, herself gave answer, and did so, if we may credit Renard, in terms of some asperity, repudiating the right of the Commons to control her decision, and declaring that Elizabeth, who was illegitimate, should never be her successor. Early in December it was rumored that Courtenay was making advances to Elizabeth, and that Noailles was playing the part of go-between. Elizabeth, accordingly, deemed it prudent to request her sister’s permission to retire to her seat at Ashridge in Hertfordshire; and her application was granted by Mary with every demonstration of cordial affection.

The triumph of the imperialist party seemed complete; and Noailles was fain to report to Henry that Mary seemed more Spanish than English in her sympathies. The Chancellor himself, now that Courtenay’s chances appeared to be at an end, came forward as a supporter of the match with Spain, and proceeded to take a foremost part in the negotiations with respect to the various questions, direct and collateral, which such an alliance involved - the marriage treaty itself, the provisions in case of issue, and those in case of failure. On January 2, 1554, Count Egmont and other plenipotentiaries appeared in London, duly empowered to make the final arrangements. Courtenay himself gave them official welcome at Tower Hill, and conducted them to Westminster. On the 14th Gardiner read aloud in the presence chamber the articles which had been agreed upon and pointed out the political advantages which would result from such an alliance. The articles, originally extending over thirteen pages, had been expanded to twenty-two, and represented the labors of ten commissioners, those cooperating with Renard, the Counts Egmont and Lalaing, de Courrières, and Philip Nigri; those appointed by the Queen, Gardiner, Arundel, Paget, Sir Robert Rochester, and Petre. As finally agreed upon, the treaty must be held highly creditable to Gardiner’s sagacity and ability; and when, eighteen years afterwards, the marriage of Elizabeth with the Duke of Anjou was in contemplation, it served as the model for that which was then to be drawn up. It has however been pointed out as a somewhat suspicious feature that the concessions were all on the imperial side. If, indeed, treaties could bind, Philip stood hand-tied in his relations to England. While nominally sharing the government with the Queen, he was pledged scrupulously to respect the laws, privileges, and customs of the realm; he was to settle on her a jointure of £60,000; their offspring were to succeed them in England in conformity with the traditional rights, and might also succeed to the territories in Burgundy and Flanders; and, in the event of Philip’s son, Don Carlos, dying without issue, this right of succession was to extend to Spain, Milan, and the Two Sicilies. Should Mary’s marriage be unfruitful, Philip's connection with England was to cease at her death. Under no pretext was England to be made participant in the war between the Emperor and France.

In the meantime Cardinal Pole’s arrival in Brussels had been retarded by a long and involuntary stay at the university town of Dillingen, the residence of the Bishop of Augsburg; while his endeavors to carry on his correspondence with Mary had been frustrated, their messengers having been stopped on each side of the Channel. It was with difficulty that she had conveyed to him the simple intimation that, as matters then stood, his appearance in England as the legate of the Holy See might prove disastrous to the cause which they both had nearest at heart. But at length, making his way with nervous haste through the plague-smitten towns of Germany, he was able, through the good offices of Fray de Soto, who held a chair of divinity at Dillingen, to present himself at the imperial Court, where he arrived in January, 1554; and Mary’s marriage with Philip being by this time virtually decided, his reception was both cordial and splendid. The assurances which he received from Charles and his ministers were indeed so flattering, that he even ventured to hope that his mission as a peace-maker might yet be crowned with success. But, long before the Cardinal could present himself at the French Court, a fresh crisis had supervened in England.

Here the belief was fast gaining ground that the realm was destined to become a dependency of Spain; while in France it was no less firmly believed that Philip's marriage would be made the opportunity for the subjugation of Scotland.

Henry, placing no reliance on Mary's pacific assurances, deemed it advisable to send troops into that country, while Wotton, convinced that war was imminent, petitioned to be recalled. That Elizabeth should marry Courtenay and supplant her sister on the throne, now seemed to be the issue most favorable to French interests; and while Henry’s ambassadors at the English Court did their best to foment the growing suspicion of Spain, the monarch himself strove to spread the rumor of a fresh rising in England. Writing to his envoy in Venice, he gave him the earliest intelligence of a rising in Kent; and on February 18 Peter Vannes, writing to Mary, enclosed a copy of Henry’s letter : according to the intelligence he had received from Noailles, Henry added, it was almost certain that all England would imitate the example thus set and “prefer to die in battle rather than become subject to a foreign Prince”. As early as Christmas, the conspirators, assembling in London, had concerted a general rising, which, however, was not to take place until March 18.

Their plans, however, had been suspected; and Gardiner, having wrung from the weak and faithless Courtenay a full confession of the plot, had taken prompt measures for its repression. The ringleaders, who were thus anticipated in their designs nearly two months before the time agreed upon for carrying them into execution, flew recklessly to arms. Suffolk and Sir James Croft, each seeking to raise his tenantry, the one in Warwickshire, the other in Wales-were both arrested and consigned to the Tower before the second week in February had passed. In Devonshire, towards the close of January, local feeling appears to have led a certain number of the gentry to make a demonstration in Courtenay’s favor, Sir Peter Carew, who had been sheriff of the county, being foremost among them. His family, however, were unpopular and commanded but little influence, and the other leaders, after vainly awaiting Courtenay's promised appearance at Exeter, suddenly dispersed in panic. Carew fled to Paris and thence to Venice, where his adventurous and turbulent career was nearly brought to a conclusion by bravos whom Peter Vannes was accused of having hired to assassinate him.

 

The rising in Kent.

 

The chief danger arose in Kent, where Sir Thomas Wyatt, a bold and skilful leader, succeeded in collecting a considerable force at Rochester, which was shortly after augmented by 2000 men who had deserted from the standard of Lord Abergavenny near Wrotham Heath. This gathering was the response to a proclamation which he had previously (January 25) issued at Maidstone, in which Mary’s supporters were denounced as aiming at the perpetual servitude of her most loving subjects. Englishmen were adjured to rise in defence of liberty and the commonwealth, while intimation was given that aid was on its way from France. With Noailles Wyatt appears actually to have been in correspondence. The Council were divided as to the course which should be pursued and distracted by mutual recriminations; while they also evinced no alacrity in taking measures for the raising of troops. Mary, whom Renard dissuaded from quitting the capital, exhibited on the other hand a courage and resolution which roused the loyal feeling of all around her. While part of the City Guard at once set out to meet the insurgents, the Corporation proceeded to arm an additional force of 500 men to follow in their track. As they approached Rochester Bridge, the Duke of Norfolk, by whom they were commanded, sent forward a herald to proclaim that “all such as would desist their purpose should have frank and free pardon”. On February 1 the Queen herself, appeared at a gathering of the citizens in the Guildhall and delivered a speech which excited general enthusiasm. Wyatt, she said, had demanded to be entrusted with the care of her person, the keeping of the Tower, and the placing of her counselors; she was convinced that her loyal subjects would never consent that such confidence should be placed in so vile a traitor. As for her marriage, the conspirators were simply making it “a Spanish cloak to cover their pretended purpose against our religion”. The Council had pronounced her marriage expedient “both for the wealth of the realm and also of you, our subjects”; should the nobility and the Commons deem it otherwise, she was willing “to abstain from marriage while she lived”. Her courage and outspokenness produced a considerable effect; for two days later Noailles sent word that the populace, who had been reported to be meditating an attack on the palace and the consignment of Mary herself into Wyatt’s hands, were actively occupied with putting the City into a state of defence and had mustered to the number of 25,000 armed men. To whoever should succeed in making Wyatt a prisoner and bringing him before the Council, a reward of an annuity of one hundred pounds was held out, payable in perpetuity to himself and his descendants.

At this juncture Wyatt appeared in Southwark, but his army amounted only to some 7000 men; no force had arrived from France, while the royal army was daily receiving reinforcements. The contemporary chronicler has described in graphic narrative the incidents of the final episode: Wyatt’s arrival at Hyde Park Corner; the fierce fighting that ensued as he pressed on to the City; the flight of the cowardly Courtenay; Lord Howard’s resolute refusal to open Lud Gate; Wyatt’s consequent retreat in the direction of Charing Cross, and surrender at Temple Bar. The number of those slain in the fighting was about forty; fifty of the conspirators were afterwards hanged, the rest were allowed to betake themselves to their homes.

Mary’s former clemency had been censured by Charles; and the Queen herself, justifiably incensed at the manner in which that clemency had been requited, was determined not to err again in the same direction. Gardiner, preaching in her presence on February 11, exhorted her now to have mercy on the commonwealth, “the conservation of which required that hurtful members should be cut off”. On the following day the tragedy of the execution of the Lady Jane and Lord Guilford Dudley took place on Tower Hill. Of Suffolk’s duplicity and entire want of good faith there could be no doubt, while his known sympathy with the Continental Reformers filled up the measure of his offence; and his execution followed about a week later. Wyatt and Suffolk’s wealthy and ambitious brother, Lord Thomas Grey, suffered the same fate in the following April. On the same day that the executions commenced Courtenay again found himself a prisoner in the Tower; here he was confronted with Wyatt, who directly accused him of complicity in the rebellion, and for a time his fate seemed doubtful. A few weeks later, however, he was removed to Fotheringay; and a year after he was released on parole, on condition that he quitted the kingdom, when he selected Padua as the place of his retirement. The last of the rebels to suffer was William Thomas, Clerk of the Council under Edward VI, whose execution took place on May 18. According to the statement of Wyatt in his confession before the Commission, Thomas had been the first to suggest the assassination of Mary. In the Tower he attempted suicide; and no detail of ignominy was omitted at his execution.

From each victim an endeavor was made to extort evidence which might assist the authorities in tracing the conspiracy to its suspected origin, and the investigations were consequently lengthened. Charles, although he still counseled caution and deliberation in dealing with matters of religion, urged promptitude in the punishment of the conspirators, so that Mary, “while taking such measures as seemed requisite for her own security in regard to Elizabeth and Courtenay”, might the sooner be able to exercise clemency towards those whom she designed to spare, and thus reassure the great majority. The Emperor, indeed, found her procrastination so inexplicable that he was inclined to attribute it to a desire on the part of Gardiner to protect Courtenay. At the commencement of the outbreak Mary had summoned Elizabeth back to Court, where a closer surveillance could be maintained over her movements. The Princess deferred compliance under the plea of illness; but on February 22 she arrived in a litter at St James. Here she remained, a virtual prisoner, until March 18, when the order was given for her removal to the Tower. Thence, on May 18, she was removed to Woodstock, where she continued to reside until the following April, under the custody of Sir Henry Bedingfield, closely watched and deprived of writing materials, but allowed to have service performed according to the English ritual. After the conspiracy had been crushed Charles strongly urged that the Princess should be executed, on the ground of her connivance at Wyatt's plans. Wyatt himself, indeed, in his last words on the scaffold, completely and emphatically exonerated her. It was asserted, however, that there was documentary evidence of her guilt, but that it was destroyed by Gardiner, to whose exertions she was, at this crisis, probably indebted for her life.

The gain to the imperial power which would accrue from the marriage between Mary and Philip had been regarded by Venice with an apprehension scarcely less than that of France; and it was an ascertained fact that a Venetian carrack, anchored at the mouth of the Thames, had supplied Wyatt with arms and a cannon. Suspicion fell upon Soranzo; but on being interrogated before the Council he stoutly denied all knowledge of the transaction, although complaints against him continued to be urged, and the charge itself was formally preferred by Vargas in Venice. On March 27, accordingly, Soranzo’s letters of recall were drawn up, and Giovanni Michiel was appointed his successor. On May 22 the latter arrived in England. It probably attests his impartiality in the discharge of his functions that, both by Renard and Noailles, he was subsequently reproached as favoring the opposite party. He appears in reality to have conducted himself throughout with discretion and probity; and, while gaining the esteem of the most discerning judges with whom he came in contact in England, he continued to command the undiminished confidence of the Venetian Council.

In March, Pole had arrived at St Denis, and shortly after had an audience of the King, by whom he was received with marked cordiality. The question of Mary’s marriage was naturally one on which the expression of his views was invited; and he was unable to conceal his personal conviction that, Courtenay’s political career having now terminated, it would be better that the Queen of England should remain unmarried. In any case, he admitted that her marriage with Philip appeared to him undesirable. That such was his opinion soon became known at the imperial Court; and, on his return to Brussels in April, he not only received a sharp rebuke from the Emperor, but shortly after learned that Charles had urged in Rome the desirability of his recall. He continued, however, to reside in the monastery of Diligam, near Brussels; for Pope Julius could not but feel that his presence as Legate in England would soon be indispensable. But for the present the fact that his attainder by Parliament was still unreversed, and the evident expediency of reassuring those who now held the alienated Church lands as to his intentions with regard to their restitution, sufficed to justify a slight further delay.

In the meantime, the reaction which ensued after the insurrection had been suppressed had enabled Mary to make known her policy, and to carry it into effect with less reserve. In March, Egmont returned from Brussels, and in his presence and that of the Earl of Pembroke the Queen formally betrothed herself to Philip. Every effort was now made to diffuse throughout the country the belief that the marriage would prove conducive to the stability of the realm and to the increase of its prestige. Wotton, writing to Noailles from Paris, pointed out, at some length, that the involved alliance with Spain was England’s indispensable rejoinder to the danger which menaced her through the conjunction of France with Scotland; while he further maintained that it was as a means of defence against this ominous combination that Charles desired to bring about a union between England and Flanders, between the House of Tudor and that of Habsburg ; as for the intention with which France credited him, the subjugation of the country and the disarming of its population, such designs had no place in the imperial breast. In support of these views he adduced the fact that large numbers of the English malcontents were daily arriving in France, seeking service under Henry, “in order to carry on the war against the Emperor by sea”.

The assembling of Mary’s second Parliament (April 2, 1554) at Westminster also served, from the contrast it presented to its predecessor, to emphasize a new departure in public affairs. Not more than seventy of the members of the former House reappeared in the new; and the entire body evinced a spirit of far more ready compliance with the royal wishes.

The leading members accepted gratefully the pensions which Mary, aided by the imperial liberality, was able to offer them; and the marriage bill, as it came down from the Upper House, received a ready assent. The necessity for discussion, indeed, was diminished by the fact that the conditions already agreed upon between Charles and Gardiner were now restated with explanatory clauses to obviate misinterpretation. It was also expressly stipulated that the royal match should not in any way “derogate from the league recently concluded between the Queen and the King of France, but that the peace between the English and the French should remain firm and inviolate”. Some opposition was offered, however, to the proposal to repeal the two Acts for the dissolution of the bishopric of Durham, the measure being carried by a majority of only 81 in a House of 321.

 

1554] The royal wedding.

 

Her main objects thus attained, Mary dismissed Parliament on May 5; and for the next two months her energies and attention were mainly concentrated on the preparations for the reception of Philip, who arrived from Corunna in Southampton Water on July 20. He was escorted on the voyage by 150 vessels, carrying a splendid retinue and treasure in bullion amounting to half-a-million of English money. The marriage ceremony, performed by Gardiner, took place in the Cathedral Church of his own diocese of Winchester. At the conclusion, proclamation was made of the future style of Philip and his bride, “King and Queen of England, France, Naples, Jerusalem, and Ireland, Defender’s of the Faith, Princes of Spain and Castile, Archdukes of Austria, Dukes of Milan, Burgundy, and Brabant, Counts of Habsburg, Flanders, and Tyrol”. Their public entry into London took place towards the close of August; and the capital now became thronged with Spaniards, among whom priests and friars formed a considerable element. The regularity with which Philip attended mass and observed the other offices of his Church was necessarily construed into evidence of his designs for the restoration of the Roman worship; nor can it be doubted that both to him and Mary this appeared as the paramount object commanding their attention.

Among the royal advisers Gardiner and Paget, by virtue of both experience and ability, assumed the foremost place. Neither, however, could be said to be recommended by consistency of principle in his past career; they had, at more than one juncture, been rivals and even bitter enemies, and they still differed widely in their policy and aims. While Gardiner, who aspired to a dictatorship in the Council, insisted on immediate and coercive measures against heresy, Paget, although admitting that the re-establishment of the ancient faith was essential to a satisfactory adjustment of the affairs of the realm, demurred to what he termed methods of “fire and blood”. In their perplexity the two sovereigns appear alike to have come to the conclusion that it might be well to take counsel with advisers who, by their remoteness from the theatre of recent events, might be better able to take a dispassionate view. Foremost among these stood Reginald Pole, who, as Legate, had already, in the preceding April, at Mary’s request, nominated six more Bishops to fill the vacant sees, White, to Lincoln; Bourne, to Bath; Morgan, to St David’s; Brooks, to Gloucester; Cotes, to Chester; Griffith, to Rochester.

In a highly characteristic letter the Legate himself now appealed to King Philip to admit him, as the Vicar of Christ, “at that door at which he had so long knocked in vain”. A precedent afforded by the records of Gardiner’s own see of Winchester was at the same time opportunely brought forward as a solution of the difficulty caused by Pole’s still unreversed attainder. In the fifteenth century, when the proctor of the English Crown appealed against the exercise of the legatine functions with which Martin V had invested Cardinal Beaufort, at that time also Bishop of Winchester, it had been suggested that Beaufort might act tanquam cardinal, although not tanquam legatus. It was now ruled that Pole might be admitted into the realm as a Cardinal Ambassador although not as Legate; while the apprehensions which this decision might have aroused were to a great extent dissipated when it was known that he had obtained from the Pontiff powers whereby he would be able to grant to all holders of monastic and collegiate lands the right of continuing in possession.

On November 20 Pole landed at Dover, and proceeded thence by Canterbury and Rochester to Gravesend. Here he was presented with two documents which finally cleared away all impediments from his path: the first, an Act of Parliament, passed ten days before, reversing his attainder; the second, letters patent brought by the Bishop of Durham, empowering him to exercise without restraint his functions as Legate. His progress from Gravesend to Whitehall, accordingly, resembled a triumphal procession, and on his arrival in the capital he was greeted with special honor by Philip and Mary. Writs, in which the title of “Supreme Head” was discarded, were forthwith issued for a third Parliament, to meet on November 12; and on the 27th the Legate delivered before the assembled members a Declaration, couched in highly figurative language, explanatory of the circumstances under which he had been sent, of the object of his coming, and of the powers with which he had been invested. At the conclusion of his address he was formally thanked by Gardiner, and after he had quitted the assembly the Chancellor declared that he had spoken as one inspired. On the following day the question was put to both Houses, whether England should return to the obedience of the Apostolic See? The affirmative was carried without a dissentient among the Peers, and with but two in the Commons. On St Andrew's Day, Pole, on bended knee before Mary, presented her with the Supplication of the two Houses, “that they might receive absolution, and be readmitted into the body of the Holy Catholic Church, under the Pope, the Supreme Head thereof”. After further formalities, and intercession made by King and Queen on behalf of the Houses, Pole pronounced the absolution and received the petitioners, by his authority as Legate, “again into the unity of our Mother the Holy Church”.

The legislation of the two preceding reigns in all that related to the authority of the Roman see was now rescinded; and on Advent Sunday Gardiner, at Paul’s Cross, in the presence of the King and the Legate, called upon the nation to rouse itself from the slumbers and delusions of the past years and to return to the true fold, while he himself at the same time abjured the doctrine set forth in his De Vera Obedientia and declared his unreserved submission to the papal power.

 

1555] The first martyrs.

 

Another Supplication, and one of very different tenour, now issued from within those prison walls where the chief leaders of the Reformers were confined. It detailed the hardships to which they were subjected; claimed that the accusations brought against them should be distinctly stated, in order that they might be heard in their own defence; and, since it was as heretics that they had been singled out for imprisonment, they urged that “heresy” should be legally defined. Parliament’s response to this appeal was the re-enactment of three ancient statutes formerly in force against Lollardism. The measure passed rapidly through both Houses, the only opposition which it encountered proceeding from the Lords, where some objection was urged to the restoration of the old episcopal jurisdiction, while the penalties enacted were pronounced excessive. As the result of this legislation, John Rogers (the proto-martyr of the reign) died at the stake in the following February ; and a series of like tragical scenes followed, in which the sufferings of the martyrs and the fortitude with which they were endured, combined to produce a widespread impression. So marked, indeed, was the popular sympathy, that Renard felt bound to suggest to Philip the employment of less extreme measures, “otherwise the heretics would take occasion to assert that the means employed by the Church to bring back perverts to the fold were, not teaching and example, but cruel punishments”. He further advised that Pole should, from time to time, have audience of the Council and be consulted by them with regard to the penalties to be enforced. Unfortunately, neither Gardiner nor Pole was inclined from previous experience to advocate a lenient course. The former was especially anxious to give proof of the sincerity of his recent repudiation of his former tenets; the latter was scarcely less desirous of showing that under a gentle demeanour he was capable .of cherishing a strong purpose. Five years before, when his merits as a candidate for the tiara were under discussion at the Conclave, it had been urged against Pole that when at Viterbo he had been wanting in the requisite severity towards obstinate heretics ; and he had himself always claimed to have inclined to mercy when assisting at the conferences of the Council of Trent. But he was especially anxious at this time to leave no occasion for a similar reproach in England, and his discharge of his functions during the remainder of the reign cannot be regarded as lenient; although in Convocation, as late as January, 1555, he admonished the Bishops to use gentleness in their endeavours towards the reclaiming of heretics.

For the merciless severities which ensued, the violence of the more intolerant Reformers also afforded a partial extenuation; and it is now generally admitted that the part played by Bonner was not that attributed to him by Foxe, of a cruel bigot who exulted in sending his victims to the stake. The number of those put to death in his diocese of London was undoubtedly disproportionately large, but this would seem to have been more the result of the strength of the Reforming element in the capital and in Essex than to the employment of exceptional rigor; while the evidence also shows that he himself dealt patiently with many of the Protestants, and did his best to induce them to renounce what he conscientiously believed to be their errors.

In the course of 1555 events abroad brought about a further modification of the relations of England with the Holy See. In February an embassy had been sent to Julius III, to make known to him the unreserved submission of the English Parliament. The ambassadors proceeded leisurely on their journey, and while still on the way were met by the tidings of the Pontiff’s death, which had taken place on March 23. Charles forthwith sent an urgent request to Pole to repair to Rome, in order to support the imperial interests in the new election. The Cardinal, however, sought to be excused, on the ground that the negotiations for peace were even of yet greater importance for the welfare of Christendom. His friend, Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, hastened from Avignon to Rome, in order to support his claims in the Conclave, but Pole himself seemed, according to Michiel, without any personal ambition at this crisis. The efforts of France were forestalled by the election of Cardinal Corvini; but, before another three weeks had elapsed, Marcellus II himself was no more.

This second opportunity seemed both to Mary and to Gardiner one that should not be disregarded, and Pole’s claims were now strongly urged; even Noailles admitted that no election was more likely to bring peace to Christendom, nor could he conceive of any other Pontiff who would hold the balance with such equal impartiality between France and the Empire. Again, however, the Italian party triumphed; and even Pole himself may have questioned the wisdom of his abstention when Gian Pietro Caraffa (now in his eightieth year) succeeded as Paul IV to the papal chair. The house of Caraffa was Neapolitan and had long been on friendly terms with France, while it cherished a corresponding hereditary enmity towards Spain. Paul could remember Italy in the days of her freedom, and his hatred of the Spanish domination had been intensified by not unfrequent collisions with the imperial representatives in the Neapolitan territory, and not least by the strenuous efforts they had made to defeat his election to the Archbishopric of Naples. The bestowal of Milan and the crown of Italy on Philip, on his betrothal to Mary, had still further roused Caraffa’s ire. Paul, indeed, did not scruple to accuse Charles of dealing leniently with heretics in order to show his aversion from the Roman policy. Before the year 1555 closed he had concluded a secret treaty with France, which had for its special object the expulsion of the imperialist forces from the Italian peninsula. Charles, when informed by the Nuncio of the election, blandly observed that he could well remember, when himself a boy of fourteen, hearing the new Pope sing mass at Brussels. Michiel, however, to whom Philip at Hampton Court communicated the intelligence, could perceive that neither the King himself nor those “Spanish gentlemen” with whom he found the opportunity of conversing at Richmond were pleased, and says plainly: “they by no means approve of this election”. In the same letter (June 6) he informs the Doge, that “Her Majesty expects and hopes during this week to comfort the realm by an auspicious delivery”; although he adds that this is earlier than the ladies of the bedchamber anticipate.

On Hampton Court, whither, some two months before, Sir Henry Bedingfield had conducted the Princess Elizabeth, the main interest of the English nation now became concentrated; and probably no period in her whole life was marked by more torturing doubt and anxiety. Her days passed in almost complete solitude; Gardiner, the Earl of Arundel, and other members of the Council were her only visitors; the object of their visits, as she soon became painfully aware, being to draw from her some unguarded expression which might be construed into an admission of her complicity in the insurrection. Their design, however, was baffled by her indignant and persistent denials; and when, early in July, Mary accorded her captive an interview, Elizabeth again, and in yet stronger language, asseverated her entire innocence. A visit from the King, addressing her with respectful demeanour and kindly words, encouraged while it somewhat mystified her; but before another ten days had passed away the sagacious Princess could easily interpret the change of purpose which his bearing had then indicated.

It now became known that Mary had been under a complete delusion, and that there would probably be no offspring from the royal marriage. Elizabeth’s supporters at once took heart again, as they realized the change which had supervened in regard to her future prospects. They appeared in London in high spirits and large numbers, so comporting themselves, indeed, that the Council, in alarm, ordered the more prominent among them to retire to their estates, as suspected heretics and leagued with rebels. But Elizabeth herself was set at liberty and sought again her former seclusion at Ashridge; and, as Mary slowly awoke from her fond dream of maternity, Philip, freed from the obligation which had detained him at her side, began to advert to continental politics and to plead that the affairs of the Continent demanded his personal supervision abroad. Before, however, quitting his island kingdom, he deemed it necessary to advise his consort with respect to the treatment of Elizabeth during his absence-advice which differed materially from that given by his father. It was no longer suggested that political exigencies might call for the sacrifice of a sister's life. On the contrary, Mary was now recommended to extend all possible indulgence to the Princess, and the changed conditions of Elizabeth's existence became obvious even to the public at large; nor did intelligent observers require to be reminded that the daughter of Anne Boleyn was the only barrier to the succession of Mary Stewart, the betrothed of the French monarch, to the throne of England.

But round the present occupant of that throne the clouds were gathering more darkly than before, and Mary's temper and health were visibly affected by the wanton imputations directed against both herself and Philip. Among the Spanish party, not a little chagrined at the royal disillusionment, there were those who represented the young King as the victim of a designing woman, and who affected to believe that Mary’s pretended pregnancy was a mere device to detain her husband by her side. The Council, on the other hand, had to listen to allegations which asserted that the King, despairing of a lineal succession, was meditating a coup de main, by bringing over large bodies of Spanish troops and occupying the harbors and ports, and thus realizing the long-suspected design of the Habsburg, the reduction of England to a dependency of Spain. Both Charles and Philip, again, became aware that with Mary’s vanished hopes a considerable advantage in their negotiations with France had also disappeared; and the malicious exultation of Noailles knew no bounds. Rarely in the annals of royalty in England had satire and ridicule been at once so rancorous and so unmerited. The haughty Habsburg, acutely sensitive, under a seemingly impassive exterior, to all that affected his personal dignity, determined to quit the country, and, in obedience to his father’s behest, to devote himself to the affairs of those vast possessions which he was soon to be called upon to rule. On August 28, 1555, Philip sailed for the Low Countries.

The incidents which preceded his departure are described in detail by Michiel. Before embarking, the King summoned the lords of the Council to the Council Chamber, and there handed them a series of suggestions for the government of the realm during his absence, together with a list of names of those whom he deemed most eligible for the conduct of affairs. If we may credit the Venetian envoy, the judgment and ability displayed in this document excited the approval and admiration of all who perused it. At Greenwich, where Philip embarked, he took leave of Mary at the head of the staircase of their apartments; the Queen maintaining her self-possession until he was gone, and then giving way to uncontrollable grief. Pole, whom the King had designated as her chief counsellor, was indeed now the only adviser to whom she could turn with any confidence, and her sense of loneliness and desertion was intense. The Cardinal, touched by her pitiable condition, compiled a short prayer for her use during her husband's absence.

The departure of Philip was, however, perfectly justified by the pressing state of affairs at the imperial Court, whither he had already received more than one urgent summons from his father. Charles’ health was giving way, and, although only in his fifty-sixth year, he was already contemplating retirement to “our kingdoms of Spain”, there “to pass the rest of our life in repose and tranquility”. But before this could be, it was imperative that he should make the necessary dispositions for the succession in his own imperial domains; while he also aspired to arrange, if possible, for the regal succession in England. Although no reasonable hope of issue from his son’s marriage could now be entertained, the astute Emperor would not abandon his project of securing the English Crown to his own House without a final effort; and he now proposed that the Princess Elizabeth should be betrothed to his nephew, the Archduke Ferdinand. But in return for the accession of territory and influence that would thus accrue to the Austrian branch, he insisted that Philip should receive for Italy the title of “Vicar of the Empire”, implying the delegation of the supreme imperial power. The objections of Ferdinand prevented the public execution of this stipulation, which was however later secretly carried out. For a time, indeed, it was currently reported that Ferdinand’s succession to the Empire itself was in jeopardy; a coolness arose between the two brothers; and when on October 25, 1555, Charles made a formal surrender at Brussels of his Flemish provinces to his son, neither the King of the Romans nor his son Maximilian appeared in the august assemblage. The ceremony took place in the Town Hall of the capital, where Charles, taking his seat on his throne, with Philip on his right hand and Mary, the late Regent of the Low Countries, on his left, and surrounded by his nobles and ministers of State and the delegates of the provinces, formally ceded to his son, the “King of England and of Naples”, the entire surrounding territories: “the duchies, marquisates, principalities, counties, baronies, lordships, villages, castles, and fortresses therein, together with all the royalties”.

It can scarcely be deemed surprising if, amid these new and vast responsibilities, Philip’s insular kingdom and its lonely Queen might seem at times forgotten; or that Charles, whose design it had been to set out for Spain as soon as possible, found his departure unavoidably retarded until the year 1556 was far advanced. But in the February of that year the Truce of Vaucelles ended for a time the hostilities with France, Henry thereby retaining possession of the entire territories of the Duke of Savoy. With his habitual want of good faith, however, the French monarch did not scruple, whenever an opportunity presented itself, still secretly to foment insurrection against both Philip and Mary in their respective domains.

 

Abdication of Charles V.

 

At length, on August 9, the Emperor finally quitted Brussels, and embarked, a month later, for Spain. His departure was pathetically deprecated and deplored by Mary, who, now guided almost solely by Pole, had during the previous year been directing her main efforts to the suppression of heresy within her realm.

The entire number of those who thus suffered during her reign was less than 400, a number which appears small when contrasted with the thousands who had already died in a like cause in Provence, or who were destined to do so in the Low Countries. But the social eminence, high character, and personal popularity of not a few of the English martyrs, unalloyed, as in many cases these qualities were, with political disaffection, served to invest their fate with a peculiar interest in the eyes of their fellow-countrymen, an interest which Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, chained to the "”eagle brass” of many a parish church, did much to perpetuate. The prominence thus secured for that partial record was the means of winning for its contents an amount of attention from later historical writers greatly in excess of its actual merits. It needed, however, neither misrepresentation nor partisanship to gain for many of the martyrs of Mary’s reign the deep sympathy of observant contemporaries. John Rogers, once a prebendary of St Paul’s and lecturer on divinity, followed to the stake by his wife and children, nerved by their exhortations, and expiring unmoved and unshaken before their gaze, the reasonable defence and legally strong position of Robert Ferrar, the former Bishop of St David’s, the transparent honesty and scholarly acumen of John Bradford,-the fine qualities and youthful heroism of Thomas Hawkes (whom Bonner himself would gladly have screened), all commanded sympathy and were entirely dissociated from that political discontent which undoubtedly called for prompt and stern repression.

With regard however to the three distinguished martyrs, who died at Oxford, there was a wide difference. In proportion to their eminence had been their offence as contumacious offenders.

Cranmer, as signatory to the late King's will and thereby participant in the diversion of the Succession as well as in the actual plot on behalf of the Lady Jane, had two years before been condemned to suffer the penalty of high treason. And although the extreme penalty had been remitted, the sentence had carried with it the forfeiture of his archbishopric, and he remained a prisoner in the Tower. His captivity was shared by Ridley and Latimer, of whom the former had been scarcely less conspicuous in his support of the Lady Jane, while the latter, as far back as the reign of Henry, had been, for a time, a prisoner within the same walls, denounced as active in “moving tumults in the State”.

Had it not been for Wyatt’s conspiracy they would probably have regained their freedom; but with that experience Mary came to the conclusion that her past clemency had been a mistaken policy, and in conjunction with Pole she now resolved to show no leniency to those convicted of heretical doctrine. Such a mode of procedure was convenient when compared with prosecutions for treason, as at once less costly, more expeditious, and allowing the use of evidence afforded by the culprits themselves. It was also certain that not one of the three distinguished ecclesiastics would have ventured to deny that heresy was an offence which called for the severest penalties.

Cranmer, in conjunction with his chaplain Ridley, had pronounced sentence in 1549 on Joan Bocher, and in doing so had been perfectly aware that her condemnation involved her death by burning at the hands of the secular power. Ridley in his notable sermon at Paul’s Cross in 1553 had denounced Mary as a usurper, not on the ground of the illegality of her succession but as one altogether intractable in matters of “truth, faith and obedience”.

Latimer, when Bishop of Worcester, had expressed his unreserved approval of a sentence whereby a number of Anabaptists perished at the stake; and, on the occasion when Friar Forest met with a like fate for denying the supremacy claimed by Henry VIII, had preached against the papal claims to spiritual jurisdiction in England. Accordingly, just as the Reformers had resorted to political rebellion in order to bring about the downfall of theological error, so the Crown now sought to punish political disaffection on the grounds of religious heresy. The power which invoked the law could also enforce its own definition of the offence.

The Reformers had however frequently complained that they suffered persecution as heretics, while the exact nature of their offence remained itself undefined. It was accordingly resolved that no doubt should be suffered to remain in the cases of Latimer, Cranmer, and Ridley : out of their own mouths should their condemnation be justified.

Such was the design with which, in March, 1554, they were brought from the Tower to Oxford, and there called upon to defend, in a formal disputation, their doctrine respecting the Mass. Nor would it have been easy to take exception to the right of these three eminent men to represent the tenets of their party. The first had been Bishop of Worcester in the reign of Henry; the second had filled the see of Canterbury for more than twenty years; the third had been Bishop of London, and in that capacity had assisted at the deprivation of Bonner (his predecessor, and now his successor), and also at that of Gardiner.

All three again had filled positions of importance in their University of Cambridge, and were presumed to be masters of dialectical disputation; just as their opponents, who were eleven in number, had been selected from the two Universities. Latimer, however, was now in his seventieth year, and it was no reflexion on his courage that he declined an ordeal in which quickness of apprehension and a ready memory were essentials. The disputation was, however, vigorously maintained by Cranmer and Ridley in conflict with their numerous antagonists. But they did so only to be pronounced defeated; and after proceedings which extended over six days, they were recommitted to “Bocardo”, as the common gaol was designated (in allusion to a logical position from which a disputant finds it impossible to extricate himself). The condemnation involved the assumption that doctrines of faith and practice were amenable to the decisions of casuistry rather than to the teaching of Scripture, and was therefore contrary to the principles of the more advanced Reformers.

The captives succeeded in corresponding with each other and coming to an understanding with respect to a declaration of their distinctive tenets (May, 1554). Among other leading divines then suffering imprisonment were three of the Bishops created in Edward’s reign, John Hooper of Exeter, Robert Ferrar of St David’s, and Miles Coverdale of Exeter, and well-known Reformers, such as Rowland Taylor, John Philpot, John Bradford, and Edward Crome. But none of these were comparable for learning, dialectical capacity, and intellectual acumen with the three Bishops whose doctrines already stood condemned; and, when the other Reformers learnt that they were to be called upon to face a similar ordeal, they anticipated such a requirement by an intimation that they would not consent to engage in a formal disputation but were willing to set forth their views and defend them in writing.

They also explained what their leading tenets were : the acceptance of the doctrine of Justification by Faith alone, the repudiation of the doctrines of Purgatory and transubstantiation, together with the adoration of the Host, clerical celibacy, and Latin services. They, however, professed unqualified loyalty to the Queen and deprecated all conspiracies against her authority. With respect to this manifesto no action appears to have been taken; but the petitioners were still detained in captivity, and before the year closed Parliament enacted afresh the ancient laws against Lollardism, including Archbishop Arundel’s notorious statute de haeretico comburendo, all of which had been abolished by Somerset.

Conscious of the net which was being drawn around them, and that their heresy was becoming a question of life or death, the captives instructed John Bradford to draw up in their name a new Declaration, couched however in far from conciliatory terms. As against the newly enacted laws of Richard II and his two successors, they appealed to Parliament to re-enact the “many godly laws touching the true religion of Christ” set forth in the two preceding reigns “by two most noble Kings”; laws which, they affirmed, had been passed only after much discussion among the doctors of Cambridge and Oxford, and with the cordial and full assent of the whole realm. Not a single parish in England, they declared, was desirous of a return to “the Romish superstitions and vain service” which had recently been introduced. They maintained that the homilies and services adopted during King Edward’s reign were truly Catholic, and were ready to prove them so; or, if they failed in this, to give their bodies to be burned as the Lollard laws prescribed.

 

The Parliament to which the petitioners appealed gave no response to their supplication, although a spirit of reaction is distinctly discernible in the Commons during this session. That body had shown a marked disinclination to re-enact the laws against Lollardism; and although it had consented to annul the ecclesiastical legislation of Henry VIII, so far as this affected the papal prerogatives and authority, it had confirmed institutions and individuals alike in their possession of the property which Henry had wrested from the Church.

In the event, again, of the royal marriage being blessed with offspring, Philip had been appointed Regent, should he survive his consort ; but his regency was to last only so long as the minority of their child, and was to carry with it the obligation to reside in England. And finally, it was decided that the articles of the marriage treaty were to continue in full force, while the proposal that Philip himself should be honored with a solemn coronation was rejected. Altogether, there had been much to remind the King of certain essential differences between monarchy in Spain and monarchy in England. And when on January 16, 1555, the dissolution of Parliament took place, Noailles could note, with malicious satisfaction, the smallness of the retinue which accompanied the sovereigns to the House of Lords and the dissatisfaction shown in the House itself by both Mary and her Consort.

 

The martyrdoms at Oxford

 

After a painful and ignominious imprisonment extending over more than two years, the three Bishops found themselves in September, 1555, again seated in the Divinity School at Oxford, awaiting their trial for the heresies of which they had already been convicted. The conduct of the proceedings was entrusted to a Commission appointed by the Legate; and Cranmer, the first who was formally summoned, stood with his head covered, pleading at the outset that he had sworn never to admit the authority of the Bishop of Rome in England, and at the same time refusing to recognize that of the Bishop of Gloucester, who had been appointed to preside over the proceedings, as his lawful judge. Fresh charges, among them his marriage, were now brought against him; he was then cited, as a Metropolitan, to appear within eighty days in Rome to answer all accusations, and was finally consigned again to Bocardo.

Ridley and Latimer were to be more summarily dealt with. Pole, indeed, sent Fray de Soto, who had been appointed to fill the Hebrew chair at Oxford in the absence of Richard Bruern, to argue with them. But it was of no avail; and both perished at the same stake, “to light”, as Latimer himself there expressed it, “such a candle in England as should never be put out”.

Cranmer, who, from a tower above his prison chamber, witnessed their dying agonies, showed less resolution; and when Fray de Garcia, the newly appointed Regius Professor of Divinity, was sent to ply him with further arguments, he wavered, and admitted that even the papal supremacy, now that it had been recognised by King, Queen, and Parliament, appeared to him in a new light. He was at last induced to sign a recantation, declaratory of his submission to the Pope as Supreme Head of the Catholic Church, and to the reigning sovereigns of his country and their laws.

His formal degradation, however, which took place on February 14, opened his eyes to the fact that he had no mercy to look for at the hands of the papal delegates; and as his crozier was wrested from his grasp, and the mock vestments which symbolized his whole ecclesiastical career were successively removed from his person, and the pallium taken away, he resisted forcibly, at the same time producing from his sleeve a document in which he formally appealed from Paul IV to the next General Council. Prior to this ceremony he had for a few weeks been consigned to the care of the Dean of Christ-church and had lived in the enjoyment of every comfort; but he was now once more consigned to Bocardo.

There, the terror of death came back, and he was induced to transcribe and sign other recantations. Eventually, however, in the Church of St Mary, on the day appointed for his execution, when a full and complete declaration of his penitence which should edify the religious world was expected, he astonished his audience by a complete disavowal of all his previous recantations, which were no less than six in number; and, when he was led forth to die, his vacillation in the prison was forgotten in his heroism at the stake. Suffering, ostensibly, as a heretic, Cranmer really expiated by his death the share which he had taken in procuring Henry’s first divorce.

 

Death of Gardiner.

 

To the reactionary feelings which were discernible in Mary’s third Parliament the martyrdoms that had taken place between February and October, 1555, had lent no slight additional strength; while those of Ridley and Latimer, only a few days before the assembling of her fourth Parliament on October 21, must have been especially fresh in men's memories. The attention of the new House was first invited to the needs of the royal exchequer, and Gardiner, as Chancellor, exerted all his powers to induce the assembly to grant a substantial subsidy. His demands were acceded to, although not without some opposition; and the gift of a million pounds-the payment of which, in the case of the laity, was to be extended over two years, in that of the clergy, over four-gave promise of effective relief; the latter body, if we may credit Pole, accepting their share of the burden with exemplary cheerfulness.

To Mary, however, this satisfactory result must have appeared dearly purchased, involving as it did the loss of her Chancellor. In urging upon Parliament the necessities of the realm, Gardiner's oratorical efforts, combined with the dropsy from which he was suffering, brought on complete exhaustion; and although he sufficiently recovered to admit not only of his removal from Whitehall to Winchester House, but even of his presence at the Cabinet Councils which the ministers came from Greenwich to attend, it soon became apparent that his days were numbered. On November 12 he died.

The reports which gained credit among his enemies, of his penitence and self-reproach in his last hours, have been shown by circumstantial evidence to be fabrications. Michiel, one of the least prejudiced, as he was certainly one of the most competent, observers, recalls the late Chancellor’s untiring energy, wide practical knowledge, keen insight into character, and consummate tact, and represents his loss as irreparable; an estimate which the undisguised joy of the French party at the event seems only to confirm. The great prelate was ultimately laid to rest in his own Cathedral, to which he had bequeathed a third of his private fortune, and where his chantry chapel, in the Renaissance style, still preserves his memory.

On the day preceding Gardiner’s death a bill was read in the House of Lords whereby the Crown surrendered into the hands of the Roman pontiff the first-fruits and tenths of all ecclesiastical benefices-for “the discharge of our conscience”, as Mary subsequently expressed it in a series of instructions which she placed in the hands of Pole. But the bill when it came down to the Commons at once gave rise to a warm discussion, and was eventually carried against an ominous minority of 126. Six days later (December 9), Mary dissolved Parliament; and two years elapsed before it met again.

In the meantime the royal purpose was becoming more inexorable and pronounced. In the communications to Pole, above referred to, Mary gave it as her opinion that it would “be well to inflict punishment” on those “who choose by their false doctrine to deceive simple persons”. It was, however, her express desire that no one should be burnt in London “save in the presence of some member of the Council”, and that during such executions some “good and pious sermons should be preached”.

 

It was probably under the belief that Pole’s better nature would exert a certain influence, that Philip, when he departed for the Low Countries, had advised Mary to take the Cardinal for her chief counselor. But firmness was never one of Pole’s virtues, and when confronted by a stronger will, in conjunction with that more practical knowledge of men and affairs in which he was notoriously deficient, he deferred to the judgment of others and reluctantly acquiesced in a policy which he himself would never have originated. But he still at times vacillated; and, as we have already noted, would recommend the Bishops to have recourse to gentle methods in their endeavors to reclaim heretics; while in August, 1556, he succeeded in setting free no less than twenty prisoners whom Bonner had condemned to the stake. It was possibly in anticipation of his resignation of the office of legatus a latere that Pole aspired to succeed Gardiner as Privy Seal, for the incompatibility of the two offices was obvious; the seal was ultimately, at Philip’s suggestion, bestowed on Lord Paget, who, as a layman and a statesman of known tolerance in religious questions, succeeded on January 29, 1556.

The Chancellorship was not bestowed on Thirlby, now Bishop of Ely, -who had been discharging its duties as deputy and whose claims were favoured by Mary-his known Catholic sympathies rendering it inadvisable, even in the eyes of Philip, to continue him in the office; and on January 1, the Great Seal was conferred on Heath, Archbishop of York. Pole, however, succeeded Gardiner as Chancellor of the University of Cambridge; and on March 22, 1556, the day after Cranmer was burnt at Oxford, he was consecrated to the Archbishopric of Canterbury.

Under his auspices, and with the aid of the royal munificence, several of the foundations which had been swept away by Mary’s father in his anger at their contumacious resistance to his arbitrary decrees now rose again. The Grey Friars reappeared at Greenwich, the Carthusians gathered once more in their splendid monastery at Sheen, the Brigettines reassembled at Sion; while Feckenham, abandoning his deanery at St Paul’s, made his solemn entry into Westminster as Abbot of a body of Benedictine monks who took the places of the expelled canons.

Parliament had ceased from troubling; and, with the false teachers silenced, the heretical books suppressed, the authority of the ecclesiastical courts re-established, the new Primate might almost flatter himself that the ideal conditions contemplated in his Reformatio Angliae had become an accomplished reality. The denunciation of the Dudley conspiracy rudely dispelled this pleasing vision. On Easter Eve, April 4, 1556, official intelligence was received of a new plot, having for its aim the seizing of Mary's person and her deposition, in order to make way for Elizabeth, who was to marry, not Ferdinand, but Courtenay; a name still potent to conjure with, although the unfortunate nobleman was himself unambitious of the honor and then nearing his end, which came to him in the following September near Padua.

 

The Dudley conspiracy. [1556

 

The plot itself, in its origin, was not suggestive of any very deep or widespread agencies, being the outcome of a series of meetings among some country gentlemen in Oxfordshire and Berkshire, Sir Anthony Kingston, Sir Nicholas Throckmorton (a friend of Courtenay’s, who had already been pardoned for complicity in Wyatt’s rebellion), Sir Henry Peckham, and Sir Henry Dudley, a relative of the late Duke of Northumberland. Further evidence, however, obtained at a considerable interval, implicated not only Noailles, the ambassador, with whom Dudley was in correspondence, but also Henry, at whose Court Dudley had been received and his proposals favorably considered, and finally Elizabeth herself. The fact that, in the preceding February, Charles and Philip had concluded at Vaucelles a truce with Henry, which was to last for five years and included important concessions to France, showed the faithlessness of the French monarch. Henry, however, advised the conspirators to defer the execution of their plans, and to their disregard of this advice the collapse of the whole scheme appears to have been mainly attributable.

Among the arrests made in England were those of two members of Elizabeth’s own household; of these a son of Sir Edmund Peckham (one of Mary’s staunchest supporters) turned King’s evidence and his testimony chiefly implicated Elizabeth. Again, however, Philip exerted his influence for her protection, while the Princess asseverated her innocence. It was at this juncture, May 25, that Noailles himself requested to be recalled; he had indeed some fear of being arrested by order of the Privy Council. His place at the English Court was temporarily taken by a brother, a councilor of the Parlement of Bordeaux; and it was not until November 2 that Soranzo was able to report the arrival of the more distinguished brother, François, the protonotary, and Bishop of Acqs or Dax, in the same capacity. To François de Noailles Elizabeth confided her design of seeking an asylum in France; he however strongly dissuaded her from such a step, suggesting that her best policy would be to remain in England. In after years the Bishop of Acqs was wont to boast that Elizabeth was indebted to him for her crown.

Lord Clinton had been instructed to make a formal protest at the French Court against the countenance which Henry afforded to the English malcontents; but his remonstrance only drew from the King the splenetic observation that they were so numerous that they “filled not only France but the whole of Italy”. In the Italian peninsula, indeed, Philip now found himself involved in relations far from amicable with the reigning Pontiff. Caraffa’s aggressive nature did not dispose him to judge charitably of others, while he was believed by Philip to harbor designs against his Neapolitan kingdom. The Pope was especially indignant when he heard of the Truce of Vaucelles; and, when in June, 1556, despatches were intercepted at Terracina sent from the Spanish envoy in Rome to Alva, Philip’s viceroy in Naples, describing the defenseless condition of the papal territory, his suspicions became certainty. In the ensuing month his nephew, Cardinal Caraffa, arrived in Paris to concert measures with Henry for expelling the Spaniard altogether from Italy. The personal ambition of the Guises favored the Pontif’s projects, and war was ultimately resolved on. Paul cited both Charles and Philip before him as vassals who had been unfaithful to their feudal obligations, pronounced the latter deprived of his kingdom of Sicily, and detained the Spanish envoy a prisoner at St Angelo. Alva issued a counter manifesto and conducted his army into the papal territory, while late in December the Duke of Guise in turn made a rejoinder by crossing the Alps at the head of a considerable force.

Such was broadly the political situation in Europe when the year 1557 opened; England appearing leagued with Spain, on the one hand, against France aided by the temporal power of the Roman Pontiff on the other; while Englishmen in turn were divided between sympathy with those of their countrymen who had fled from persecution, and resentment at the manner in which they had deserted to the common foe.

At Calais and throughout the English Pale the exiles were now discovered to be concerting with the native Huguenot element the surrender to Henry of two important fortresses, those of Guines and Hames (between Guines and Calais), a design which was defeated only by its timely discovery. It was at this juncture that Philip crossed over to Dover and from thence proceeded to Greenwich, where Mary was residing. Two days later the royal pair passed through London to Whitehall amid the acclamations of the citizens. The King’s stay extended over nearly four months (March 18-July 3), and to the majority his visit appeared singularly opportune. The immediate object of his visit-to induce Mary to join him in his impending war with France-was one in favor of which his arguments might well appear irresistible. The Duke of Guise had already overrun his Neapolitan territory; and it seemed probable that the King of France would shortly conquer, if not vigorously opposed, all that was still English within the limits of his realm. Again, and for the last time, Pole found himself involved in relations of difficulty with the House of Habsburg; and he was under the necessity of privately explaining by letter to Philip that diplomatic etiquette forbade that the Legate of the Holy Father should meet his master's declared enemy; whereupon he withdrew quietly to Canterbury. In April, however, his embarrassment received an unlooked for solution, by Paul’s peremptory recall of his Legates from the whole of Philip’s dominions; and when King and Queen joined in urging that the actual condition of England made the presence of a Legate exceptionally necessary, the Pope at first sought to evade compliance by offering to appoint a legatus natus and to attach the office to the Archbishopric of Canterbury. Eventually, however, in a Consistory convened on June 14, he appointed William Peto, Mary’s former confessor; thus substituting, as Phillips, Pole’s biographer, indignantly expresses it, a begging friar for the royally descended Cardinal! At the same time, the merciless Pontiff cruelly wounded his former Legate’s sensitive spirit by insinuating that he was a heretic. Pole expostulated in an Apology, extending over eighty folio pages, vindicatory of his whole career; but Paul never revoked the imputation, which darkened the Cardinal’s remaining days.

 

Rebellion of Stafford. [1557

 

While, in the meantime, Philip and his Queen were concerting measures with the Council, tidings arrived which imparted fresh force to the Pope’s representations. On April 24 Thomas Stafford, a nephew of Pole and a grandson of the last Duke of Buckingham, had set sail with two ships from Dieppe and, having landed unopposed on the Yorkshire coast, had seized Scarborough Castle. Thence he issued a proclamation, announcing that he had come to deliver England from the tyranny of the foreigner and to defeat “the most devilish devices” of Mary. The rebellion, if such it could be termed, for Stafford’s appeal met with but slight response,was speedily suppressed, Wotton’s vigilance having given the government early intimation of his sailing; and its leader with a few of his personal adherents were captured by the Earl of Westmorland and sent to London. Stafford was found guilty of high treason, and suffered the punishment of a traitor at Tyburn (May 28). Henry, who designated Stafford as “that fool” and repudiated all knowledge of his mad undertaking, had probably full information of what was intended; and on June 7 war with France was declared. Affecting to regard this step as simply further evidence of “the Queen of England's submission to her husband’s will”, Henry at once ordered his ambassador at her Court to present his letters of recall, but François de Noailles had already been dismissed by Mary. On his way back to Paris, the latter stayed at Calais and made a careful survey of the fortifications; the ruinous condition of the outer wall more especially attracted his attention; and on his arrival in the capital and being admitted to an interview with the King, he expressed his belief that a sudden attack made by an adequate force on that ancient seaport would carry all before it.

Before Philip quitted England he received the gratifying intelligence that Alva’s Fabian tactics had been successful against Guise, and that he had been finally driven from the Neapolitan territory. The mortification of Paul was equally intense, for he had scrupled at nothing to bring about an opposite result : had suggested to Solyman a descent on the Two Sicilies, and had brought over mercenaries from Protestant Germany, and all this in order to defeat the forces of the eldest son of the Church. When the Duke of Guise appeared to present his letters of recall the Pope’s fury passed all bounds of decorum: " You have done little for your King, less for the Church, and for your own honour nothing." Such were Paul's parting words, although he little deemed how complete and how lasting the failure of the French intervention was to prove, and that the Habsburg rule was destined to remain unshaken, alike in the north and south of the Italian land, until the war of the Spanish Succession.

On his return to Brussels Philip was accompanied by Michiel Surian, who had been appointed ambassador to his Court, and the Venetian Republic henceforth maintained no resident envoy in England. Of English affairs it had recently received the elaborate “Report” drawn up by Giovanni Michiel, and presented to the Doge and Senate in the preceding May. The King’s first attention was now directed to the war with France, to which he addressed himself with unwonted energy. The signal victory of his arms at St Quentin, achieved mainly by a powerful division of Spanish cavalry, was attended by the capture of Montmorency, the French general, and the dispersion, with great slaughter, of his entire army; and three weeks later, St Quentin, which barred the road to Paris, was surrendered by Coligny. The news was received with great rejoicings in London, where a solemn Te Deum was sung; and Pole, at Mary’s request, conveyed her congratulations to her husband. The conclusion of his letter is noteworthy: “We are anxiously expecting news of some good agreement with his Holiness, which may our Lord God deign to grant”. With the Colonna already at the gates of Rome, even Paul himself now became aware that to yield was inevitable. Rarely however has the victor used his success with greater consideration for the vanquished. When Naples and its territory had been brought back to submission, Alva repaired to Rome, and, escorted by the papal guard into the Pontiff’s presence-chamber, there fell upon his knees, imploring pardon for having dared, even at the command of his temporal sovereign, to bear arms against the Church, and was formally absolved. And again in London there were bonfires and illuminations in celebration of a peace,- the peace thus effected between Philip and the Papacy.

Although Mary is described by Michiel in his Report as friendly to the Scotch, the aid which she afforded Philip in his war with France almost necessarily involved hostilities with the former nation, in whose midst Mary of Lorraine, as Regent, had been for some time past installing her countrymen in official posts with undisguised partiality. The betrothal of the Queen of Scots to the Dauphin and the intimate relations which the Regent had throughout maintained with the French Court, served still further to strengthen the political alliance between the two countries. It was consequently no surprise when, in October, 1547, it became known in London that the Regent had built a fortress to prevent English forces from marching to the relief of Berwick; that Scottish troops were ravaging the country south of the Tweed; that there had been a massacre of some English troops which had ventured to land in the Orkneys; and that a battle between the forces of the two nations on the frontier was regarded as imminent. The intelligence of the great disaster sustained by the French arms at St Quentin gave pause, however, to the Scottish ardor. A Council was convened in the church at Eckford, where the expediency of continuing the war was discussed, the decision being in the negative. The invading force was consequently disbanded, having achieved little more than the distraction, for a short time, of the attention of England from the war with France, and a certain addition to her military expenses. On April 24, 1558, the marriage of Mary Queen of Scots with the Dauphin was celebrated with great splendor in Notre Dame; and to not a few it seemed that France, by a less costly process than armed conquest, had effected a virtual annexation of Scotland. In the following November the National Council, assembled at the Palace of Holyrood, decided to confer on the King-Dauphin (as Francis was now termed in Paris) the Crown matrimonial.

At nearly the same time that François de Noailles’ account of the neglected condition of Calais was communicated to Henry, Michiel, in his Report, had described the town as an almost impregnable fortress, garrisoned by 500 soldiers and by a troop of 50 horse. Writing on January 4, 1558, he had to inform the Doge and Council of Ten that the capture of Calais was imminent; two days later, Lord Wentworth, notwithstanding his gallant defence, was compelled to surrender to the Duke of Guise, the only condition that he could obtain being that the lives of the inhabitants and of the garrison were to be spared. They were allowed, however, to take nothing with them, the soldiery giving up their arms, the citizens all their worldly possessions. A fortnight later the garrisons of Guines and Hames also surrendered, although on somewhat less humiliating terms. The expelled population of Calais betook themselves mostly to England, where their destitute and homeless condition served still further to increase the widespread indignation at the supineness and stupidity, as well as the suspected treachery, whereby the last stronghold of English power in France had been irrevocably lost.

Early in the year Mary again became a prey to the delusion that she was about to become a mother, and Philip was at once informed. He affected to entertain no misgiving, and before the end of January the Count de Feria, who had married Jane Dormer, one of the Queen’s maids of honor, was sent over to convey the King’s congratulations. England was already known to the new ambassador, who now assumed a foremost place among the royal counselors. De Feria, however, had conceived a thorough contempt alike for English institutions and the English character. He had been instructed especially to urge two important measures : the equipment of a fleet for the defence of the coasts and the enrolment of an army to guard the Scotch marches; and he was unable to comprehend the slowness of the process by which the necessary supplies were eventually raised, when he also noted the apparent affluence and well-being of London and the surrounding districts. Like Antoine de Noailles before him, he pronounced the English character to be singularly changeable and wanting in firmness of purpose. His surprise, however, must be interpreted as illustrating rather the relative comfort in which the population lived, as compared with the invariably scanty fare and wretched huts of the people in Spain. Otherwise, the prevalence of ague fever, an epidemic which raged with terrible fatality in the summer and autumn of the years 1557 and 1558, together with the dearness of corn, the languishing state of trade and agriculture, and the heaviness of taxation, contributed to render the general condition of the country depressing in the extreme; while the popular dissatisfaction became further intensified, when it was known that Philip was employing the new marine exclusively for his own purposes.

The disappointment and chagrin which weighed on Mary’s spirits during the last few months of her life were deepened by her increasing ill health; and her morbid condition both of mind and body appeared to not a few to be finding expression in the revival of religious persecution. But the recurrence of secret meetings, open manifestations of fierce discontent, together with the malevolence which assailed Spaniards even in the streets of the capital, may be accepted as affording a sufficient explanation of the renewed severities which marked the administration of Bonner’s Court, where treason and heresy had become almost synonymous. Although, however, opinion may differ with respect to the degree and character of the chief influences in operation, it is undeniable that feelings of aversion on the part of the people from foreign rule and papal authority, and of sullen resentment at the humiliation of the English name and the squandering of the national resources, were alike becoming intensified, when, in the early morning of November 17, Mary of England passed away, to be followed a few hours later by Archbishop Pole, both eminent examples of the inadequacy of deep convictions and pious motives to guide the State aright.